Photanol to Build Demonstration Plant at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals’ Delfzijl Site

A demonstration plant for a technology to produce chemicals from sunlight will be built at Delfzijl, the Netherlands by AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and partner firm Photanol BV. The companies formed a partnership in 2014 to reportedly work on a technology using cyanobacteria that mimics the way plants use photosynthesis to produce chemical building blocks such as organic acids from carbon dioxide (CO2).

Photanol has closed a financing round with a group of Dutch investment firms that will allow the construction of the unit to begin. Completion is expected in 2020.

“The joint development of Photanol’s production capability is part of our strategic choice to collaborate with innovative companies to drive growth by developing more sustainable chemical platforms for our customers,” said Marco Waas, director RD&I and Technology – Industrial Chemicals at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals.

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals stated that this partnership will allow Photanol to ultimately produce a new and low-cost intermediate for one of its businesses. “This will allow us to make a step change in profitability and product quality. We are proud to support Photanol making chemicals from sunlight at scale, and to help grow a profitable, green chemical cluster in Delfzijl,” added Peter Nieuwenhuizen, chief technology officer of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals.